Archive for » March 8th, 2013«

SAILING : Intercollegiate regatta attracts nation’s best sailors

The best collegiate big-boat sailors in the U.S. will converge on the nation’s premier shipping locale for the sixth Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup/Cal Maritime Invitational Intercollegiate Regatta today through Sunday.

As the port continues to develop, the event also has grown so well the problem is not attracting talented teams, it’s picking 10 competitors out of the many who apply … along with picking a winner.

The Port of Los Angeles is the sponsor and Los Angeles Yacht Club the regatta organizer and host, but the California Maritime Academy of Vallejo in Northern California is not only the inviting school but the two-time defending champion seeking its third consecutive victory in the West Coast’s only intercollegiate big-boat regatta.

Last year’s win was a test of the Keelhaulers’ resolve. They won four of the first five races over the first two days, then suffered a sail control breakdown in the sixth race and started the last day with a premature start in the first of three races Sunday. They fought their way back to finish fourth following each of those setbacks and won the regatta by six points.

Skipper Matthew Van Rensselaer, now a senior, said, “We do a good job of keeping calm and staying in clear air. I was trying to keep as calm as I could.”

Other members of this year’s crew are five juniors and one freshman. The Keelhaulers also have a new coach in Parker Mitchell while Charlie Arms remains director

of sailing for the academy.

Their strongest competition could come from the U.S. Naval Academy that returns with an entirely new seven-person crew but has a recent record of winning the 2012 Kennedy Cup – intercollegiate sailing’s big-boat national championship – plus six first places in other East Coast events the past season and a fifth place in the World Cup at La Rochelle, France.

“This team hasn’t sailed together as much, although we got second in the Kennedy Cup, and we’ve been practicing on our 39-foot boat,” Arms said. “Navy, for sure, is going to be tough, as is USC.”

A sleeper could be the College of Charleston, S.C., whose collegiate success to date includes only dinghy class events. It presents its “first true offshore varsity team” from both coasts with veterans of the Transpacific Yacht Race, the Newport-Bermuda Race and other ocean events on board.

A local favorite, USC, the winner in 2010 and runner-up last year, still has veteran skipper Max Hutcheson at the helm along with a rebuilt crew including two freshmen and three sophomores.

Other contestants are two-time winner Maine Maritime, SUNY Maritime of New York, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the University of Michigan and two California teams, UC Irvine and Cal State U. Channel Islands.

Most of the crews will include one or two women. All will race Catalina 37s chartered from the Long Beach Sailing Foundation. Some of the teams have been practicing on the boats, best known for the Congressional Cup world-class match race event, since last week.

A total of 10 races are scheduled over the three days, starting today at 2 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 a.m., conditions permitting.

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Gulf Craft announces its largest ever yacht project – the Majesty 155 – at …

The luxury superyacht – the largest ever to be constructed in the company’s 31-year history – is expected to be completed in 2015.

The announcement signals the UAE-based builder’s comfortable positioning within an elite fraternity of global boat builders with the capability to create craft of this size and complexity.

The Majesty 155 represents both, the degree of engineering, design and technological sophistication already achieved as well as the company’s ambitions to embark on larger, more complex projects in line with the demands of the market.

Commenting on the announcement Mohammed Hussain Al Shaali, Chairman Gulf Craft said, “The Middle East continues to lead demand in the global superyacht market. Moreover, Gulf Craft also highlights the regional marine industry’s capability, sophistication and growing prominence on an international stage with the Majesty 155 being one of the largest composite superyachts ever to be constructed in the Middle East.”

“As a market for superyachts, the GCC and surrounding region is maturing rapidly,” added Al Shaali. “We are very optimistic about this region as more people are finding their way to the water. The destination building and infrastructure for superyachts in terms of larger berthing facilities, better equipped marinas and superior support facilities has progressed in recent years. With an active sales orientation towards a global client base, we are seeing increased demand worldwide for superyachts over 40m in general, with a particular appetite for the highly customized and individualized products we are able to provide,” he concluded.

Demonstrating its continued commitment to aggressively investing in new market-relevant designs across its entire range, the Gulf Craft fleet at DIBS 2013 features a number of exciting concept debuts.

Leading the fleet is the Gulf 75 Exp – a brand new development that builds on the success of its Gulf 95 Exp predecessor. Designed around the concept of “living on the water”, it is styled and laid out to serve a more comfortable, extended overwater stay. Reflecting a floating loft apartment, with wrap-around windows for interior light maximization and a huge entertainment fly-bridge, it evokes a feeling of a home on the water, one with the best sea-view available.

Gulf Craft’s superyacht portfolio will be strongly represented with a brand new Majesty 135, the Middle East premiere of the globally lauded Majesty 125 and a new Majesty 105.

“This is the first time we show the Majesty 125 to the public in the region. The concept has been extremely well received in Europe when it was displayed at both Cannes and Monaco Yacht Shows in previous years. This is the third Majesty 125 yacht to come out of the Gulf Craft yard and we expect it to receive a similarly enthusiastic response in the Middle East,” said Erwin Bamps, Chief Operating Officer, Gulf Craft.

Gulf Craft also premiered the new Oryx 27 – a brand new design, extending the entry level segment of its popular Oryx sport yacht cruiser range. It features a compact double cabin with separated washroom area, and packs a lot of features into 27ft of on-water fun.

Gulf Craft will exhibit its range of fiberglass boats and luxury superyachts from its Majesty Yachts, Oryx and Silvercraft brands at MD 29, 31, 35, 37, 38 and EX 11 at the Dubai International Boat Show until March 9th.

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Learn to sail on Cheddar Reservoir


Dave Bickell
Friday, March 8, 2013
9:43 AM

Cheddar Sailing have announced details of its beginner adult training course on Cheddar Reservoir.

IF you have been tempted to get outdoors and have watched the boats sailing on Cheddar Reservoir and wondered about taking up sailing, then this could be your opportunity.

Cheddar Sailing is pleased to announce details of its beginner adult training course, to be run on Saturdays in May and early June. This format was tried for the first time last year and worked well.

Attendees can come to one or more sessions, and attendance for five Saturdays will lead to an RYA qualification. Cheddar Reservoir is a fantastic venue with plenty of water, great views and a welcoming clubhouse.

The course is suitable for complete beginners or those with limited experience. The club has a range of boats which are used on the course and these are available for hire to members.

Garry Packer, training principal at Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club, of which Cheddar Sailing is a part, said: “Our courses are really cost effective because the training is delivered by volunteers who are passionate about sailing and we don’t therefore have to pay expensive staff bills.

“All of the instructors are qualified to Royal Yachting Association standards. We are a friendly club and after the course you can join the club at a discount, entitling you to borrow the club sailing dinghies for a small fee.”

The club also runs courses for members’ children and holiday sailing days open to all. Many schools and youth organisations come sailing as part of the OnBoard programme, on a one-off or regular basis.

To find out more about any of the above opportunities, email or call 01179 425 123 for further details.

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Gulf hungry for super yachts and private jets

The Middle East’s super-rich are back buying superyachts and private jets despite the choppy waters and turbulent headwinds buffeting the global economy.

While luxury boat builders struggle to generate sales in Europe, the number of vessels at the Dubai International Boat Show this week is up about 10 per cent on last year.

Gulf Craft, the UAE’s only maker of superyachts, announced it had started its biggest project to date, building a 155-foot superyacht slated for completion in 2015. This is 20ft longer than its current longest model.

The global market for private and executive jets is also staging a major recovery, aided by growing demand in the Middle East, especially in Arabian Gulf states such as the UAE.

As manufacturers and customers convened for the start of the Abu Dhabi Air Expo at Al Bateen Executive Airport yesterday, they could be confident that they had left the global downturn behind them.

Annual sales of new aircraft and overhauled second-hand ones are expected to double to almost US$35 billion (Dh128.55bn) by 2030, and the annual global growth rate in the years between 2010 and 2030 will amount to about 4 per cent, according to a study by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. “Countries like the UAE are driving this growth and will even exceed the region’s growth rate,” said Holger Lipowsky, the project manager at Roland Berger.

Private jet-charter companies are also reporting a rebound.

Royal Jet, the Abu Dhabi-based private plane operator said revenues for its Gulfstream aircraft rose 27 per cent last year, while income for its Boeing Business Jets increased 6 per cent.

The company, which does not publish full financial figures regarding its performance, said 2012 was its seventh consecutive year of profitability.

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